We’ve all been there. Spent a full weekend tweaking CV’s and writing the perfect cover letter, filling out a 10 page application form and all set to clinch the deal with an interview. Then, when it all finally pays off and we reach that final hurdle – there’s an issue.
It’s the same date as your best friend’s wedding. Or the date lands slap bang in the middle of your two week holiday abroad. Whatever it is, as with most things these days, technology can save the day.
Instead of umming and ahhing over whether you could make just make the ‘I do’s’ or look into the cheapest last minute flights back from Majorca, the humble webcam and video conferencing technologies offered by companies like Eyenetwork have given us a great solution.
It’s not uncommon these days to request a video interview rather than a face to face meeting. Many recruiters will also suggest this method to quickly and efficiently make their way through the first round of interviews, saving time, money and the hassle of scheduling.
It also acts as a solution to those recruiting globally and as the number of people working from home becomes more common. As technology has evolved, the demand for a high quality service has grown and created a cyclical system of improvement for these types of video conferencing technologies.
This has created an effortless system of ‘meeting’ without actually having to meet. Now, technology is one thing, but there are a few quirks that must be remembered when arranging a video interview. We have 5 tips that will help you to ensure your interview runs smoothly, so you have more time to focus on giving that great first impression.
1] Get your tech set up in plenty of time
First things first – technology. If you’re not used to video calls, make sure that you have installed the agreed video conferencing platform correctly and everything is in working order.
Check that your microphone and camera are connected. If your built in camera or microphone is of low quality, consider buying an external one that plugs into your USB port. There’s nothing worse than finding out that there’s an issue on the day or being distracted by bad quality communication.
2] Get comfortable on camera
Have a friend or family member abroad? Give them a call and get used to speaking on camera. Many people find video conferencing awkward if they’re not used to it, but as with everything, the more you do it the easier it will be.
Try to work out a volume that is clear and won’t blow the speakers or leave the interviewers without any clue to what you’re saying. Check the speeds in different rooms of the house or office and where might be the hotspots for fastest connection and fewest glitches. You’ll be a pro in no time!
3] Check your surroundings and keep it professional
You should be the star of the show! Make sure you aren’t overshadowed by distracting backgrounds such as a busy kitchen or cluttered office. At all costs try to avoid using your bedroom for your interview, but if you have to, keep it professional by placing the camera somewhere so that your bed (and any dirty socks) are cleared away and out of view.
Although you’ll probably be sitting for most of the call, it’s still important to dress as though you are going to a face to face interview. You never know when you might need to stand up. Equally, try to place yourself in a quiet location.
Children playing, a television in the background or roadworks outside can distract from your interview so take these into consideration before the day.
4] Have all documents prepared
Prior to the interview, try to predict what may be asked and have any necessary documents sent through to the interviewer in advance. This way you can clearly refer to any relevant part on your CV or portfolio that you might wish to highlight.
Although you may like to open tabs or print out the documents yourself to refer to, be aware that the interviewer will be able to see any movement you make and the microphone will pick up the sound of the mouse clicking. It’s easy to forget!
5] Be early
As with any interview, it is important to be fully prepared in plenty of time rather than last minute. You don’t want to be leaving your interviewer waiting for you to get online or try to work out why your camera isn’t working.
Ensure that any technical hiccups have been sorted out beforehand. Remember to switch off notifications on your computer and put calls on silent to avoid any disruptions.
Follow these 5 simple tips and you’ll have taken away half of the stress that your video interview will bring, helping you to focus on the important stuff – Good luck!